Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tales of a Trailer

Remember the trailer? The one that's been in escrow since December 8th? Remember how we needed to get a mold test because underwriting just had to have "one more thing"?

Well, there was mold found. Of course there was. What else should I expect? So, yeah, mold. In a desert climate. Great. Of course, I talked with the listing agent to let her know what was happening. The seller called in a mold guy who "filtered the air" to capture all the mold spores. And then they retested the air. Thankfully the second time they tested it came back clean. So we're home free right? Not so much.

I had an appointment on Friday to take my Texas gal looking at houses. I haven't introduced her but she has the same name as me and we just have a blast together. I mean seriously, anyone that can laugh when we come across not one, but two different guys getting arrested on the same day while house hunting? Yeah, awesome. So anyway, Texas and I were set to go look at houses on Friday. About five minutes after I arrive to pick her up I got a call from the lender on the trailer.

I don't like calls from the lender on the trailer because I have yet to hear the words "we're clear to close!" It's always "one more thing". And sure as sh*t, he was calling because he wanted to send the appraiser back out to the house to get a picture of some tag that was in the trailer. It's Friday. The appraiser can't get out there until Monday or possibly Tuesday and it always takes her 24 hours to get anything back to the lender. And she charges $200 for each additional visit. So I offer to stop by the property, take the picture and send it to him via email when I get back to my laptop.

I hang up the phone and look over at Texas. She's grinning away, asking if the call was about "the moldy trailer". I tell her what I need to do and ask if she would mind if I just stopped in between houses long enough for me to pop in and take two photos. Of course she's game (told ya she's fun!)

Now, as we're driving over, my first thought is to just leave her in the car while I run in to get the photos. Of course, when we arrive she doesn't want to sit in the car, she wants to see what this place looks like. Figuring there's no harm to be had, I tell her to come on in. As I go past the chain link fence, I notice that one of the key boxes has been decimated. That's not unusual, people tear these things up or steal them regularly. I use the other box to get the key and open the door.

The first thing that hits me is the smell, it smells really strongly, but not like it did the last time I was there. Previously, it has smelled like a place that's been closed up for awhile. Kind of musty (the mold maybe?) but not horrible. Now, it smells more...strongly? Foul? Something. But I'm just here for photos, so I head to the kitchen and unpack my camera.

Texas is standing in front of me while I'm taking the picture and we're joking around. Then she says "Nice, they left a banana peel on the counter." I look over my shoulder and what I see isn't a peel, but two bananas. Huh, that's odd. So I say something about the mold guy leaving his lunch on the counter. I squat back down to get a close up picture of the sticker so the lender can clearly see the numbers he needs.

Texas wanders off to the bedroom and calls out "Wow, they left their cloths and everything!"

I freeze. I lean to my left to get eye contact with her and ask "What did you say?"

She replies "They left their clothes in the closet and towels on the floor and everything. It's like they left in a hurry."

And that's when it hits me. The last time I was in this house, there was nothing in it. Nothing.

I call my client closer and say "Texas, you need to go get in the car right now."

She gets big eyed and says "Right now?"

"Yeah. Right. Now."

She turns on her heel and heads out. I stuff my camera in it's bag, grab everything and follow her. I lock the door behind myself and get into my car. As I'm closing my door, I look up at the window that's directly in front of my car. And that's when I see a man backing away from the window. Yeah. There's a squatter living in the trailer. And he's here right now. Fan-effing-tastic.

As we back out, I'm dialing the listing agent to let her know. She's thrilled that there's yet one more thing going wrong with the trailer and will be sending out someone immediately to change the locks and throw the guy out. After I hang up, I start to apologize to Texas about putting her in danger. She just laughs and says I'm more fun to hang with than most agents.

I'm starting to suspect I'm not supposed to be in this business for the purpose of selling homes. I think I'm just collecting stories for my future book.


Wendi said...

Oh, my God--how freaky! But yes, you're getting a GREAT book.